hy Morales-Maim (1989) However one can question the reliahilify of quantitative research, especially when the data have been stripped from the natural context, or there have been random or acciden- tal events which are assumed not to have happened (Comer 1991) The reliability of quahtative resesirch is weeikened by the fact that the process is under-standardized smd relies on the msights and the abilities of the observer, thus makmg an assessment of rehabilify difficult (Dufiy 1985) The study of Hind et al (1990) examined this issue and demonstrated that reliability could be assessed by usmg mdependent experts to examme various aspects of the pro- cess of developing grounded theory However, one must question the feasibilify of employing such a costly process, both m terms of time and money, to venfy the rehabilify of a qualitative study Validity Although quahtitabve methodologies may have greater problems with rehabilify than quantitative methodologies, the position is reversed when the issue is validify The weakness m quantitative research is that the more tightly controlled the study, the more difficult it liecomes to con- firm that the research situation is like real hfe The very components of scientific research that demand control of vanables can therefore be argued as operating against external vahdify and subsequent generahzabilify (Sandelowski, 1986) Campbell & Stanley (1963) mamtain that the more similar the research experiment is to the natural setting the greater is the vahdify and thus general- lzabihfy of the findings The field studies concemmg pen- neal management by Sleep et al (1984) (also. Sleep 1984a, b) all contnbute to the scientific understanding of this aspect of nursing One reason that this can be claimed hes m the fact that the studies took place m a climcal environ- ment, which mcreased validity The strength of qualitative research is proposed m the claim that there are fewer threats to external validify, t)ecause subjects are studied m their natural setting and encounter fewer controlling factors compared with quan- titative research conditions (Sandelowski 1986) The researchers also become so immersed m the context and subjective states of the research subjects that they are able to give the assurance that the data are representative of the subject being studied, as seen in Ocddey's (1984) antenatal climc study Paradoxically, the closeness of researchers also threatens the validify of the study if they become unable to mamtam the distance required to descnbe or mterpret experiences in a meanmgful way, as discussed atrave (Hmton 1987) It is argued, however, that this IS worth nsking t)ecause of the tugh level of validity achieved by employmg qualitative methodologies (Duffy 1985) ETHICAL ISSUES Conceptually, the ethical considerations for both quanti- tative and qualitative research are the same safefy and protection of human nghts These are mainly achieved by using the process of informed consent The utilization of informed consent is problematic in quantitative research, but practically impossible in qualitative methodologies in
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- Spring '12
- Qualitative Research, researcher, Duffy M E